Giffords, a pro-gun safety group, is calling on Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to support background checks in a powerful new ad.
Groups advocating for better gun safety legislation are ratcheting up the pressure on Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to support background checks with a new ad released Friday.
"When I set up for my classroom every year, I think about it," Jody, a Colorado teacher, says in a new ad from Giffords. "How do I hide 31 kids from a school shooter?"
"Instead of making lesson plans, I'm making active shooter plans," she says.
Jody goes on to call on Gardner to "do his job, and keep our kids safe." Text on the screen encourages Gardner to support H.R. 8, the universal background check bill passed by the House of Representatives in February.
Giffords was started by former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), who served from 2006 through 2012. In 2011, Giffords was shot in the head at a mass shooting incident in Tucson that left six people dead and 13 wounded. She survived the shooting and has become one of the country's leading gun safety advocates.
Gardner, who has an A rating from the NRA, has refused to express support for universal background checks. At a recent event in Aspen, Gardner said bluntly, "I don't support gun control."
However, pressure is mounting on the vulnerable Republican, who faces a tough reelection race in 2020. Gardner is considered the most vulnerable Republican in the country, and a recent poll by Giffords shows a majority of his constituents support gun safety legislation.
Colorado is also home to some of the worst mass shooting incidents in modern history, including the deadly 1999 shooting at Columbine High School. In 2012, two years before Gardner was elected to the Senate, a shooting at an Aurora movie theater killed 12 people.
On Friday, a local chapter of the March for Our Lives movement participated in a press conference in front of Gardner's Denver office to pressure the senator to support the background check bill.
"As young people, we are afraid," Ethan Somers, a local organizer with March for Our Lives, told Shareblue Media following the press event. "We are afraid of the violence we see in our communities and afraid because we know it will follow us back into the classrooms."
Somers turned his attention to Gardner and the ad from Giffords.
"Sen. Gardner has ignored our requests to meet and talk, and he has ignored our pleas for gun safety laws. It is clear to us he is unwilling to put the interests of our generation ahead of the interests of his donors and that's why it's so exciting for us as youth to see Giffords holding him to account publicly."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has so far ignored calls to have the Senate return from their August vacation to take up gun safety bills in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. The soonest the Senate could take action will be mid-September.
Until then, teachers like Jody will be forced to spend their time making active shooter plans instead of concentrating on lesson plans.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.